Taliban escalate brutality as world turns to Ukraine

More than six months after the Taliban took Kabul, Afghanistan has largely escaped the public eye, which is now closely watching the unfolding of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Out of the world’s watch, the Taliban have stepped up their assault on the country they now control, a country struggling with a worsening humanitarian crisis and in dire need of international support.

“This war goes far beyond Ukraine,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres. “It is also an attack on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries.”

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said that while the war in Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis are rightly at the center of global attention, the international community cannot afford to neglect Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s return to power was initially viewed by the international community as a monumental security challenge, with major world powers working together to tackle the situation. But experts now fear the Taliban are seeing the shift in global focus as an opportunity to implement their hard-line policies, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported, acknowledging that the international community is “busy elsewhere”.

When the watchful eye of the world was on them, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported, Taliban leaders warned their members not to seek revenge, and instead to wait and “watch those who act against them.” [us]especially government officials and civil society activists who preach against the [Taliban].”

The Taliban are once again exposing the cruelty of de facto rule in one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 50% of its population living below the poverty line.

A Taliban member of the Department for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice talks to a rickshaw driver at a checkpoint along a street in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 12, 2021. Taliban have promised to bring peace, but fear reigns above all in this eastern city, hit by attacks and reprisals from the Islamic State group, and with corpses mysteriously appearing in the rivers.
Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

“This kind of reaction gave the Taliban a chance to increase brutality against the Afghan people,” said Baset Hafezi, capital regional director of the State Ministry of Peace and an Afghan refugee currently living in Eastern Europe. Is. Newsweek.

“Right now they are searching house by house, and the lives of thousands and thousands of Afghans who have worked with the United States and NATO are in great danger,” he added.

And as long as resources, attention and sympathy are diverted from Afghanistan, the Taliban will benefit.

“Another reason to fear that the Taliban will escalate brutality and abuse,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. Newsweek, “It’s that the group can take advantage of the scarcity of information in Afghanistan. The Taliban can carry out beatings and crackdowns that in many cases go unreported.”

In Afghanistan’s Helmand province, HRW reported last week that Taliban authorities had stepped up surveillance and threatened reprisals against militants and former government officials, a clear violation of international law.

In Helmand province, HRW said, residents have reported an increase in nighttime patrols and raids that coincide with warnings from Taliban leaders that mass arrests will occur if attacks on Taliban commanders continue.

Although Taliban leaders have denied that the group engages in revenge killings, they have a proven track record of such violence.

“The Taliban are further aided by disinformation campaigns that often present false accounts of Taliban brutality,” Kugelman said, “meaning that when the group receives allegations of abuse, they can simply dismiss them as false. news, even if they are in fact true.”

The Taliban takeover and the departure of the United States prompted foreign media to scale back their operations in Afghanistan, Kugelman said. Many Afghan journalists have fled the country and the Taliban have intensified the crackdown on those who remained.

Although getting news from rural Afghanistan has never been easy, HRW Afghanistan researcher Fereshta Abbasi said, “The Taliban’s repression of the media in the provinces is dangerous both for journalists and for people whose lives are harmed by unreported abuse.”

This media crackdown, Foreign Policy reported, ensures that Taliban activities, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions, go unreported.

“The world right now is more focused on Russian aggression in Ukraine than Taliban brutality in Afghanistan,” Kugelman said.

And although an end to the Taliban insurgency would have led to a decrease in violence, the American Institute for Peace reported that the group’s authoritarian rule has left the country without the money or the technical capacity for proper governance. effective.

Along with shifting Western attention away from Afghanistan, this makes it likely that the devastating Afghan crisis will continue.

“Helping Afghanistan,” said the Middle East Institute, “must start with acknowledging that the Taliban are at the heart of the problem, not the solution.”

Amid a brutal war in Ukraine, Afghanistan is rapidly descending into one of the worst humanitarian crises on the planet, Gandhara reported. While international support for Ukraine remains vital, Afghanistan’s needs are no less pressing.

“I fear Afghanistan is being left behind,” Kugelman said, “at a time when millions of Afghans face starvation.”

Two months after the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government, the UNDP predicted that the country would plunge into near-universal poverty by mid-2022. Today, Afghan children are starving almost daily, HRW reported, as the country struggles to cope with a rapidly deteriorating food security situation.

“The situation has not improved at all in Afghanistan,” Kugelman added, “even though Ukraine has gotten out of control.”

Afghans across the country are struggling to make ends meet. International aid organizations are gone, the public health sector is in shambles, and under the Taliban decent-paying jobs are virtually non-existent.

The escalating war in Ukraine distracts attention from an equally dire situation in Afghanistan, where more than half the population is in need and malnutrition is widespread, among many other challenges, said the Director General of the World Health Organization in a statement.

And as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan escalates, so too will the Taliban’s assault on the country.

“History tells us,” Shamroz Khan Masjidi, an Afghan political analyst, told DW, “humanitarian crises could lead to violent conflict,” and Afghanistan is no exception.

“It’s a sad reality that these days the Taliban are getting more brutal,” Hafezi said, “and all of this is happening as the global community forgets the Afghans.”

According to experts, the lack of international interest in the Afghan crisis has obscured the spotlight on the country, a reality that the Taliban exploit and continue to exploit.

“When 25 years ago this country fell off the radar screen, it ended very badly,” Grandi said. “We cannot follow the same path.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button